About a year and a half ago, I wrote a story I was convinced no one would give more than a passing thought to…Hm, so wrong on that one. Equally hated and loved, ‘After the Sunset’ became my very best seller of all time (shaking my head…as if I’ve been writing for decades, but I can dream can’t I?). In between those two hundred plus pages I typed out after dragging myself home from I job I loathed, I created a pair of secondary characters who walked across the scenes of about two chapters — at most — toward the second half of the romantic suspense. Since then, I still receive emails asking me when Nivea and Pierce are going to get their own story. My reply is always the same…It’s coming…eventually.
Like most writers who have a sleeper that suddenly becomes a runaway hit, I’ve defeated myself before I can even finish the draft. My thoughts on their romance continually tease me, yet never flourish into a full body of work. I’ve written their story dozens of times…in my mind, on actual paper, and on a faux piece of blank white parchment…and it’s never, ever…ever good enough. I wondered what could be stopping me. Writer’s block? Nope. I already know what happens to them. I’ve rehearsed it countless times from beginning to end. Fear that the audience will hate the story I create for them? Nope. Bad reviews use to bring me to the verge of tears, now — no offense to my readers, whom I love dearly — for my own sanity, I just skip all of them.
I’ve come to the conclusion that my deep love for these reluctant soul mates is the main obstacle to bringing this sequel to life. It must have been a slip of my fingers, a hurried moment when I forgot to clamp down my inner desires that caused me to unknowingly pour a piece of myself into the letters floating across the screen. Could this be the secret of why their unwritten love has touched the hearts of those who discovered the brief paragraphs describing the fleeting moment of an unnerving connection? For once, did I reveal too much of myself, too much of the heart hiding behind the keys and, by doing so, succeed in pulling others into my colorful world?
Every time I return to their love story, I feel the pain of their loneliness…their desperate search for a kindred spirit. Are these intimate details that should be shared with a faceless pair of eyes…exposed for all to see…to scorn…to laugh at then hit the return button on their e-reader? If I can’t let go of my deep attachment to them, Nivea and Pierce may never blaze across the screen in a teary reunion. I must convince myself…they’re just words on a page, the creation of a wandering imagination haunted by far too many fantasies of wayward romance…nothing more…right…? Time to let go and bring them to life…one more time.